Up & Coming Weekly

December 18, 2018

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 12 of 32

12 UCW DECEMBER 19-25, 2018 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Every reader of history knows of rosy, illusory claims made by boastful leaders as soldiers gathered to march off to one of the many wars that have occurred in the last 2,000 years. "Our side will win quickly, and the boys will be home by Christmas." During the Revolutionary War, Christmas at Valley Forge was a glaring exception to the rule. George Washing- ton lead his army of 11,000 men — a third of which was not fit for duty — into Valley Forge just before Christmas 1777. e temperatures that winter were hovering near 6 degrees. e troops were ill-clothed and ill-housed. But the Continental Army found a way to reverse the course of the war. at Christmas was the beginning of an incredible tale of survival. During the American Civil War, politicians from both the North and South were confident as armies mo- bilized that the disagreement would be settled in a few months. But the War between the States turned into a bitter conflict lasting four years and causing hundreds of thousands of casualties. e U.S. Army is the only branch of the military that honors the Christmas exodus for all recruits who are in basic training and advanced infantry training. e Army shuts down all of its training schools during exodus to allow the drill sergeants and instructors to have a break at Christmas. e exodus break generally starts a week before Christ- mas and lasts until a week after Christmas. e dates vary every year depending on where in the week Dec. 25 falls that year. Even if a soldier doesn't have enough leave time saved up to take the break, and most won't, the Army will allow him or her to go in the hole to take advantage of this time. In many cases, this means the soldiers will not have leave time available for quite some time after graduation. e challenge of feeding military forces has always been a difficult one. But it's a very special time during the holidays. Few commanding officers forget Napoleon Bonaparte's mythi- cal remark, "An army marches on its stomach." e United States, and militaries throughout the world, have devoted great effort and huge sums of money to feed the troops at anks- giving and Christmas. Every year, thousands of U.S. military personnel deploy to foreign countries, remote sites and aboard ships/submarines all over the world. An anonymous Army spouse wrote on Military.com that when her soldier deployed over the holiday, the com- mand went all-out to provide a nice meal and holiday cheer. "Still, it was just another day," she said. "It meant they could sometimes be short on the phone or a little irritable or hungry for every single detail of home," she added. "Be open to whatever spirit your service member brings to the phone or Skype or email that day. You are home to them and this is a great day to celebrate that." The military at Christmas by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS e U.S. Army is the only branch of the military that honors the Christmas exodus for all recruits who are in basic training and advanced infantry training. Choose from over 250 programs of study in the areas of Arts & Humanities, Business, Computer Information Technology, Engineering & Applied Technology, Health, Math & Sciences, and Public Service Associate Degrees, Certificates, Diplomas Fayetteville - Spring Lake - Fort Bragg Spring Classes Register Now! 16-Week Classes begin Jan. 14th The SMART choice for Education (910) 678-8400 • www.faytechcc.edu

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